While our attention is focused on police violence, authoritarianism, and the coronavirus pandemic, environmental disasters continue.
Waterways near Russia’s Siberian city of Norilsk have been rapidly polluted by a spill last Friday of more than 20,000 tons of diesel fuel. On Wednesday Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency.
A diesel tank ruptured at a thermal power plant, according to a statement by the city’s main employer, metals miner Nornickel.
Melting permafrost from abnormally warm temperatures is believed to have caused a collapse of a structure that had been supporting the tank, the company said. How ironic is this, that a new environmental disaster was caused by warming air temperatures from greenhouse gas emissions?
Melting permafrost will continue to damage infrastructure. In addition, vast quantities of carbon dioxide and methane are being released as permafrost melts. This will increase the rate of rising global air temperatures.
In other news, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is occurring even as permits for it to cross waterways have been invalidated.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court in California on Thursday declined to suspend a lower court’s ruling that canceled a national environmental permit, in a decision likely to delay pipeline projects, including the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said in the ruling that the appellants, the Army Corps of Engineers and TC Energy Corp (TRP.TO), “have not demonstrated a sufficient likelihood of success on the merits and probability of irreparable harm to warrant a stay pending appeal.”
The Army Corps and TC Energy had sought a stay of an April 15 ruling by Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of the District Court in Montana that canceled the so-called Nationwide Permit 12, which allows dredging work on pipelines across water bodies.
Morris said then that the Army Corps did not adequately consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on risks to endangered species and habitat when it renewed the permit in 2017. To allow the agency to continue authorizing new pipeline construction “could seriously injure projected species and critical habitat,” Morris said in the decision.
It was the latest setback for the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been pending since 2008. Keystone would take heavy Canadian oil from Alberta to refineries and ports on the Gulf of Mexico via connections in the U.S. Midwest.Keystone XL pipeline likely to face delays after U.S. court denies stay by Timothy Gardner and Rod Nickel, Reuters, May 28, 2020
NOTE: An excellent source of news related to pipelines, the Facebook group Pipeline Watchdogs: Monitoring Constructions and Operations is constantly updated by Mahmud Fitil , who walked with us during the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March, September, 2018.
The struggles of the Wet’suwet’en peoples in British Columbia to stop the construction of pipelines on their territories continues.
The RCMP were scheduled to vacate the Community Industry Safety Office (CISO) in March of this year.
Removal of the temporary detachment (CISO) was a precondition for discussions between the Hereditary Chiefs and the provincial and federal governments.
They have continued to trespass and not act in good faith while facilitating genocide on our territories.
We expect them to remove the detachment as they have proven clearly they cannot be responsible for the safety of our territory and our people.Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory 6/2/2020
Meanwhile there has been a diesel oil spill at the construction site, where activity was supposed to stop pending discussions with the Hereditary Chieft.